A Look at the Latest Gaming Laptop from Dell
First things first: the Alienware M17 R4 is a big laptop, and it’s even heavier than the Alienware 17 R4 despite having the same footprint, at 6.14-inches wide by 8.16-inches long by 2.05-inches thick.
This isn’t surprising given the Predator 17 R4’s oversized 17.3-inch screen. That said, the M17 R4 is actually smaller than the 17 R4, which weighs 8.15 pounds.
Its carbon fiber-reinforced plastic shell adds a bit of weight, but it’s nicely balanced, and the over-sized track-pad is even wider than the 17 R4’s touch-pad. The M17 R4 is easy to pick up and carry in a backpack.
Specifications and Design
|Processor:||Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor|
|Operating System:||Windows 10 Professional 64-bit|
|Graphics:||Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q|
|Display:||17.3-inch Full-HD (1920 x 1080) 1920 x 1080 LED Backlit LCD|
|RAM:||16GB DDR4 2400MHz (4x8GB)|
|Screen:||17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS (?)|
|Graphics:||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q|
|Optical Drive:||DVD +|
|Ports:||2 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB 3.1 Type-C), 1 x USB 3.1 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x SD Card reader, 1 x Ethernet, 1 x USB 2.0 Type-A, 1 x USB 3.0 Type-A, 1 x audio jack|
|Graphics:||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5X, AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 8GB High Bandwidth Memory 512 MB (or 4GB HBM2, depending on your configuration), 2GB|
Performance and Battery Life
The power on this laptop is relatively more complex than the rather shallow appeal of its boring aesthetic. Under the hood, the Dell M17 R4 is packing an Intel Core i7-8750H CPU that’s equipped with a Radeon RX Vega 56 GPU. It’s not the powerhouse that’s found in the Alienware 17 R4, but it does prove to be competent when considering it is still in its first generation.
Without going into too much detail, the Alienware 17 R4 is outfitted with the same i7-8750H CPU and a GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. The differences between the two laptops in terms of performance is negligible. And considering they are both Intel Core i7 and 1070 models, there’s nothing to see here.
One thing worth noting here is that the Alienware 17 R4 features 8GB of RAM while the M17 R4 does not.
Pros and Cons
- Stellar performance with Core i9 and GeForce RTX 3080 in our test configuration
- Unique, satisfying Cherry MX mechanical keyboard
- Scads of configuration options, including 360Hz display
- Plenty of ports
- Pricey as configured, in line with field-leading speed
- Poor battery life
- Hefty power brick
Dell Alienware M17 R4 Review Conclusion
Alienware’s new M17 R4 gaming laptop has had a rough time with a lot of people. There has been a lot of negative feedback about its very pretty looks, the high price, and the lack of an upgrade path.
After using the laptop I must admit, I am one of the same people. I really liked the Alienware M17 R4, but with all of those caveats. The good news is that the laptop is a total blast to use.
It’s a monster of a machine, which means it’s big, heavy, and difficult to lug around, but at the same time it feels great to use. In fact, it’s kind of shocking at how smoothly this thing flies.
It has a lot of power under the hood and if you can look past the looks and price, it’s actually a pretty great machine.
To be honest, it’s hard to get used to the Alienware M17 R4’s unique design.